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Warren Barton’s Top 100 Wines

By December 6, 2010No Comments

The Dominion Post published Warren Barton’s Top 100 wines with today’s edition of the paper. This annual selection of wines is a most interesting and important one, as Warren is one of this country’s most experienced wine writers. A journalist first, Warren has developed a keen sense and appreciation of wines and the wine scene in this country, and relates very closely with the ‘man on the street’. Not just any man, but one who has more than a passing interest in wine, but professes no expertise in the product.

This makes Warren a bridge between the wine industry and the average consumer – the consumer that the industry tries so hard to reach. On this count, Warren’s Top 100 selection gives many insights as to how the industry is seen to be progressing, and how well it is doing. It is of immense value to see what Warren has chosen, as it is surely a snapshot of the trends and feelings of the industry and the public, as well as a good man’s 100 recommendations of excellent New Zealand wines.

Warren reports that in 14 years of compiling his list, “the choice has never been wider or more difficult”. Value is a crucial determinant nowadays and in that vein, Warren has restricted the number of the “most distinguished and naturally more expensive” wines in favour of value and a broader range of what’s available. His conclusion is that we “have never had it so good”. I whole heartedly agree, and any attempt to offer critical advice in selecting good wines now can only be applauded. Here is his Top 100 for this year:

White Wines under $25
Mission ‘Vineyard Selection – Middle Road’ Chardonnay 2009
Squawking Magpie ‘The Chatterer’ Chardonnay 2009
Goldridge ‘Premium Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2009
West Brook ‘Barrique Fermented’ Chardonnay 2009
Moana Park ‘Vineyard Selection’ Chardonnay 2009
Selaks ‘Winemaker’s Favourite’ Chardonnay 2009
Seifried ‘Winemaker’s Collection’ Gewurztraminer 2010
Spy Valley Gewurztraminer 2009
Starborough Pinot Gris 2010
Villa Maria ‘Cellar Selection’ Pinot Gris 2010
Spy Valley Pinot Gris 2010
Framingham ‘Classic’ Riesling 2008
Palliser Estate Riesling 2010
The Doctors’ Riesling 2010
Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Saint Clair Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Babich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Cable Bay Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Tohu Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Villa Maria ‘Cellar Selection’ Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Montana ‘Brancott Estate’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Vavasour Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Waimea Viognier 2009
Brancott Estate ‘Showcase Series’ Marlborough Sauvignon Gris 2010
Trinity Hill Hawke’s Bay Arneis 2009
Seifried Gruner Veltliner 2010
Waimea Estates ‘Edel’ 2009
White Wines $25 and over
Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay 2009
Sacred Hill ‘Rifleman’s’ Chardonnay 2009
Kumeu River ‘Hunting Hill’ Chardonnay 2008
Dog Point Vineyard Chardonnay 2008
Vinoptima Ormond Gewurztraminer 2006
Johanneshof Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2010
Greystone Gewurztraminer 2010
Bilancia Pinot Gris 2009
Greywacke Pinot Gris 2009
Pegasus Bay Riesling 2008
Mt Difficulty ‘Dry’ Riesling 2009
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Seresin Sauvignon Blanc 2009
Millton ‘Riverpoint Vineyard’ Viognier 2009
Red Wines under $25
Vidal Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Instinct Cabernet/Merlot/Malbec 2007
Delegat Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2007
Beach House Cabernet/Merlot/Malbec 2009
Villa Maria ‘Private Bin’ Hawke’s Bay Organic Merlot 2009
Wild Rock ‘Gravel Pit Red’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot/Malbec 2008
Ngatarawa ‘Stables Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2008
Mount Riley Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009
Wild Rock ‘Strugglers Flat’ Martinborough Pinot Noir 2008
Te Mata ‘Woodthorpe’ Syrah 2009
Moana Park Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2009
CJ Pask Gimblett Road Syrah 2008
Selaks ‘Winemaker’s Favourite’ Syrah 2009
Mission Estate Syrah 2009
Red Wines $25 and over
Church Road ‘Cuve Series’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2007
Trinity Hill ‘The Gimblett’ 2008
Mills Reef ‘Reserve’ Merlot/Malbec 2008
Escarpment Vineyard Martinborough Pinot Noir 2008
Craggy Range ‘Te Muna Road Vineyard’ Pinot Noir 2009
Akarua Central Otago Pinot Noir 2009
Martinborough Vineyard ‘Te Tera’ Pinot Noir 2009
Spy Valley Pinot Noir 2009
Fairmont Estate ‘Block One’ Wairarapa Pinot Noir 2009
Palliser Estate Pinot Noir 2008
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2008
Church Road Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2009
Vidal Estate Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2008
Elephant Hill Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2009
Alluviale 2008
Te Mata ‘Coleraine’ 2008
Crossroads ‘Talisman’ 2008
Sileni ‘The Pacemaker’ Cabernet Franc 2008
Black Barn ‘SV’ Montepulciano 2009
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Tempranillo 2008
La Strada Rosé 2010
Lime Rock Pinot Rosé 2010
Esk Valley Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2010
Te Mata ‘Woodthorpe’ Gamay Noir 2010
Millton Merlot Rosé 2010
Sparkling Wines
Cuvee Virginie
Deutz ‘Marlborough Cuvee’ Blanc de Blancs 2007
Nautilus ‘Cuvee Marlborough’ Brut NV
Allan Scott Marlborough Blanc de Blancs
Hunters ‘Miru Miru’ NV
Brancott Estate ‘Reserve’ Sparkling Pinot Noir
Waipara Hills ‘Southern Cuvee’
Villa Maria Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Soljans ‘Fusion’ Sparkling Muscat
Lindauer Rosé
Sweet Wines
Trinity Hill Noble Viognier 2009
Seifried ‘Winemakers Collection’ ‘Sweet Agnes’ Riesling 2009
Allan Scott Marlborough Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Alpha Domus ‘The Pilot’ ‘Leonarda’ Late Harvest Semillon 2009
Fromm Riesling Spatlese 2008

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